InfraWorks: New enhancements for bridge design, ArcGIS data integration, and more

Sarah Cunningham Sarah Cunningham September 17, 2018

4 min read

Join our community webcast on October 3rd, meet our product managers, and watch a live demonstration of this latest release.

Here in New England, many mark the start of fall when the temperature dips and the leaves turn, or when you can finally get your pumpkin spice latte fix. I’m excited to be kicking off the new season by sharing details about the latest InfraWorks update.

Design, optimize, connect: these are the principles that guide how we evolve InfraWorks as a design tool. Our goals are to:

I shared the details of our previous InfraWorks release in July and this update builds upon the same goals. The latest release focuses on new capabilities for designing complex and customized civil structures and makes improvements that strengthen the connections between InfraWorks and BIM 360, and between InfraWorks and GIS data. Let’s unpack four key upgrades to InfraWorks (2019.2).

Supporting complex bridge design

We recognize that our customers are designing many different types of bridges, some with very specialized components. Starting with this update, use Generic Bridge Objects along with other bridge components like piers, abutments, and girders, to design a wider range of bridge types and take preliminary designs further in InfraWorks.

Generic bridge objects are parametric components that can be positioned at any station or offset along a bridge. The components can be created in Inventor and then utilized in InfraWorks via the Generic Objects library. Generic bridge objects are attached to the bridge and can be positioned numerically for accuracy. The generic bridge objects have many applications; not only can they be used to model unique, specialized parametric bridge parts to attach to the bridge, but they can also be used to form the actual structure itself, for example, arc structures. They can also help form non-bridge items such as construction equipment.

Enhanced integration with ArcGIS data

Last year at AU, we announced a strategic alliance with Esri. As software leaders, both companies believe that working together to create direct, faster, and more transparent data flow between our systems will enable our customers to positively impact the way we design and construct the built environment.

Learn more about what’s next for Autodesk and Esri

In this latest update, the Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS graduated from Preview status and also includes a few improvements to the workflow. Implementing ArcGIS data improves your project context, which will lead to better designs.

Now, you can preview your selections and build up several selections from multiple layers before bringing the data into InfraWorks.  ArcGIS content can now be added to an existing or new InfraWorks model. You can select feature layers, configure them to InfraWorks objects, and add layers to a design project. You might also notice that connecting to data and refreshing those connections is now a bit quicker than before. Once the data has been imported into InfraWorks, layers can be reconfigured and restylized based on the ArcGIS attributes. This allows you to drive custom stylization based on the rich attribution.

InfraWorks attributes and layers automatically expand when connecting to ArcGIS. The connection from InfraWorks to ArcGIS is also live and refreshable; that means we can use field applications like the Collector for arcGIS to collect additional assets. Once ArcGIS is updated, the InfraWorks model can be refreshed and the new assets will be added to the model.

InfraWorks and BIM 360 data sources

We’ve continued to progress the workflows between InfraWorks and BIM 360 since introducing the capability back in April. It’s now possible to store, manage and share data sources for an InfraWorks model on the Desktop Connector, which will sync the data sources to BIM 360 or Autodesk Drive. This means anyone else working on the model will also have access to the same data sources, allowing the project team to reconfigure and refresh the data sources as needed for their work.

Content such as shape files can be located in BIM 360 folders and added as a data source, configured with relevant data type and geolocation information. After importing the data, the connection string points to the local location. The process is the same for other data types such as 3D models. Just browse the Desktop Connector local hub and then configure the data source and position the 3D model numerically or interactively. Once the model has been synced, other project collaborators gain access to the model and those elements sourced from the Desktop Connector also point locally on the collaborator’s model.

InfraWorks Home menu upgrades

Model tiles on InfraWorks Home now provide many more actions for managing BIM 360 and non-BIM 360 cloud models from one place.  We’ve also added status icons to indicate when models are locked on BIM 360 or disconnected. Managing models from InfraWorks Home is now a more seamless experience and prevents unwanted or leftover connections.

Improvements to the InfraWorks home menu allows you to open a model directly in InfraWorks or in BIM 360 where full view capabilities are available. InfraWorks allows you to create a duplicate model that can be stored and modified locally. If a model has been removed from BIM 360, you can create a local copy of the now disconnected model. This is useful if you need to work on the model but cannot connect to BIM 360. InfraWorks allows you to delete cached models without affecting what’s on BIM 360, freeing up space. You can also easily delete local models.

Learn about all of the ways InfraWorks can improve efficiency in your projects.

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